Undercover Defenders - The New Partner: Part Six
4:24 PM – underground, inside the ventilation system of the Thieves’ Guild
“That was extremely stupid.”
Levi looked at me innocently from ahead, craning her head back as we crawled through the vents.
“The plan,” I hissed. “Did you expect that you could get into the Guild disguised like that? Now the whole place knows we’re here!”
“Keep your voice down,” she said sharply as she turned back around. “I never expected to get into this place undetected. It’s all in the plan.”
“What plan?” I said angrily, though I was whispering now. “The plan you told me has already been ruined because of what you did! Why didn’t you stop that Grarrl from roaring when you had the chance?!”
“I wanted us to be found,” said Levi. “I thought that it would be better for us to distract the Guild by causing a disturbance and make our way secretly to the storage area. We could lure most of the thieves to somewhere while we could make our way to the storage area.”
“It would’ve helped if you told me this before we went into the tunnels.”
“Yeah, well, I like keeping others on their toes.”
“Which makes me wonder how your old partner could stand working with you.”
“Hugh liked me like a lot. I worked with him since the first day I came to UDON and I wish he hadn’t retired but he was old.”
We crawled in silence in the cramped vents. We reached a myriad of different vents. Levi led me through the third to our right.
“How do you know where you’re going?” I asked.
“The Agent who came here was Lionel; he’s a shadow Aisha. He specializes in collecting information and he’s the one who collected info about this Guild. He said in his reports that he was able to observe the Guild through their ventilation system without being uncovered since he found the entrance to them above ground. I memorized the blue prints so I know where I’m going; how ‘bout you?”
“Then why didn’t we enter through that entrance?”
“Because I wanted to cause trouble.”
“You mean for us.”
“Seg,” Levi said snorting, “if you call a thieves’ guild finding intruders in their lair trouble, you haven’t seen anything yet.”
We reached the end of the vent. Levi quietly moved the vent’s entrance out of place and slipped out. I followed her and, as quickly and quietly as possible, moved the vent back in place.
We were hiding behind some boxes near the ceiling upon impossibly high shelves. I looked down and it looked as if we were three stories up.
There were about forty thieves below unloading objects. Weapons, bombs and the sort. There was so many of them, impossible for two Neopets and a Petpet to take down. Speaking of Petpets...
“Where’s Keuna?” I asked Levi, whispering, even though there was no way the thieves could hear us from such a height. I didn’t remember the Faerie Seti getting into the vents with us.
“I sent her ahead of us, through a different tunnel. I told her to get out of her.”
“I thought you said your Petpet went everywhere with you.”
“Yeah, but not today,” Levi said solemnly. “Seg, count how many thieves there are.”
I began to count quickly and as efficiently as possible but it was hard since the thieves kept moving around. When I finished, I tried to keep as calm as possible.
“There’s seventy eight down there.”
“I counted eighty two,” Levi said lightly. “But honestly, a few more doesn’t matter anymore.” Levi’s face was hard to read. It looked calculating yet at the same time, slightly interested.
“Why are there so many?”
“Well,” Levi said, “We distracted a lot of them, you heard them coming down the hall. And there are guards and everything at the entrances. I’d say we attracted about twenty of them and there are about ten guards.”
There was a frightening silence.
“That’s one hundred ten thieves,” I said, calculating quickly. “More than double than what was recorded this morning.”
“I’m going to get Lionel,” said Levi, quite annoyed. “He obviously wasn’t counting all of them. He must’ve been counting wrong for days.” Levi’s eyes narrowed at the thieves below.
“We have to stick to the plan, Seg. Round ‘em up and catch ‘em.”
“Oh, so we’re going back to that plan now?”
“We really don’t have much of a choice.” Levi began getting up from her crouched spot behind the boxes.
Today was just becoming worse and worse, wasn’t it?
“Now Seg, watch me work,” she said, stretching her arms above her. Her face suddenly looked ecstatic. “I’m going to show you how to take down thieves the ol’ fashioned way. Come down when ya get the feeling.” With that, she began lowering herself down the shelves with her amazing speed.
For one moment, I just sat in shock. Was she really going to go against eighty thieves at once? I got on my stomach and peered down to the scene below.
Levi was now a few levels down, hiding behind a box. I noticed she was fiddling with her Pack.
Then there was a bang in the middle of the floor – Neopets in the vicinity had suddenly doubled over, laughing crazily; they had been hit by a Laugh Grenade.
“The intruders!” someone yelled and everyone dropped what they were doing and began looking around rapidly. I ducked back behind my box and quickly peered around for Levi. I found her a level below, concealed by a box and fiddling with something. Then she was off.
She climbed down towards ground level, taking all the thieves by surprise. Someone had the sense to shout, “Get her!” and they all charged at her at once. However, she was far too quick: she easily dodged them, dumped copious amounts of what looked like Slippery Floor Potion, and turned back on them, firing a web from a Web Claw. It was up to chance what happened to a thief; they either slipped classically onto their backs from the Potion, or dodged the Potion and ended up entangled in the web. If they weren’t any of the above, they were probably still laughing insanely from the Laugh Grenade.
But more thieves were converging on Levi now, who just stood in the middle of the floor plan, doubled over and laughing as hard as her Grenade victims from the mess of the thieves she just made. Thieves poured in from the entrance as Levi had attracted the attention the thieves who went to investigate the diversion. But none of this seemed to bother Levi. She suddenly jolted quickly to her left and grabbed a hat and magic wand out of her Pack. For one crazy moment, I thought she was going to pull a Snowbunny out of her hat but that moment turned into reality. She reached into the depths of the hat, pulled out a plush Snowbunny, tapped herself with the wand, and disappeared in a puff of purple smoke.
The thieves were in an uproar. Some yelled, “Where’d she go?” as she vanished while others tired to pick themselves off the slippery floor or help others caught in the web or Laugh Grenade.
I couldn’t believe it. These were dangerous criminals. All of them. Yet Levi had reduced them to pets merely running and shouting in confusion. Then I remembered something that Kane had called earlier in the day.
“Why doesn’t the Master of Chaos do her paperwork,” Kane had said in mock disapproval as Levi worked on her papers.
“Because I prefer chaos over work,” she had replied cheerfully, “accidentally” knocking over Kane’s plant on his desk as she passed.
I couldn’t help but think “Master of Chaos” really suited Levi as I looked down at the scene below.
I found Levi again hiding a level up, taking the hat off her head and I understood – it was an Invisihat and Levi merely used the cheesy magic act as a distraction to disappear for a while. Now she grabbed another bottle from her Pack and threw it down below.
It was terrifying – ghosts rose into the air, wailing eerily and pelting towards the thieves around them, hands extended and eyes wide.
A good amount of thieves had enough; they fled the scene immediately, screaming, “Ghosts!” Many tried punching and shoving the ghouls away as they were rushed but it was in vain – the ghosts had no form.
Watching the scene unfold beneath me, I couldn’t help but snort at them. I knew this weapon – it was a Spirit Bottle from the Haunted Woods Weapon Shop. Didn’t criminals know their weapons? But the most amazing thing was how efficiently – and creatively – Levi used them. Most of the criminals had fled and even now, the thieves were still being tripped by the Slippery Floor Potion when they were fleeing the ghosts.
Then it hit me. Why wasn’t I doing anything? This was my job, for crying out loud!
It wasn’t my fault, really; Levi was just so interesting to watch. In a matter of minutes, she cut their numbers by nearly half just by causing them to laugh, trip, get entangled in a web, and scaring them with ghosts. And yet the whole time, Levi looked as if she enjoyed the whole thing!
I took a deep breath and began climbing down the storage shelves as quickly as possible. No one noticed – Levi was now shooting the remaining criminals with Liquid Goo, causing them to get stuck to the walls and floor. When I finally reached the bottom, I pulled out my tangle net gun and promptly began shooting at large groups. It worked well – the thieves saw the net coming but were grouped so closely that they couldn’t move out of the way in time and were caught instantly. I only had two rounds but I managed to catch nearly twenty thieves.
When the remaining thieves saw me arrive at the scene, they clearly realized they were outmatched and ran for the exit. Levi stopped shooting her Goo and we both watched as the remaining thieves disappear from sight, leaving us with the captured criminals.
I was in disbelief. We rounded up the thieves and caught them in a matter of minutes. It was just like Levi had said, easy as taking snow from Terror Mountain.
“Now that was fun,” Levi said, smiling broadly.
“Shouldn’t we go after them?” I said, pointing towards the door.
“Nah, Adella probably has a crew rounding them up,” said Levi, flicking her paw lazily. “She called some Agents back from missions after she got heard of the heist. They should be here by now. Anyway, let’s round up the rest of them now.” She turned towards the mess of groaning criminals covered in Goo and whatnot.
“I can’t believe you did this,” I said, pulling some random globs and web off the floor. “You did almost all of this singlehanded!”
“No thanks to you,” she said. “Too scared to come down earlier, huh?”
“I wasn’t scared!”
“I was watching you fight!”
“Hm. Better help me next time then, partner.”
To my surprise, Levi reached out her paw towards me and said, “You weren’t bad, Seg. You didn’t get caught or mess up my plan. I could get used to working with you.”
I disregarded her remark and stepped forward to shake her paw. Unfortunately, I slipped in a puddle of Slippery Floor Potion and flew into the air, falling hard on my back and this caused Levi to break into hysterical laughter as I got up, my face suddenly very hot.
“Let’s just do this,” I said as calmly as possible, determined on forgetting the last moment while Levi kept laughing raucously as we began to clean up the mess.
5:56 PM – Adella’s Office, Undercover Defenders of Neopia Headquarters
“You guys were excellent,” said Adella, smiling at us from across her desk. “I knew you would.”
Levi let out a loud “Tch!” of disbelief and I stomped on her foot. I was starting to get used to this.
Nevertheless, Adella continued. “All were caught, the heist was stopped, and it was two against nearly one hundred. I’m looking forward to seeing this report of Jory’s desk tomorrow, Levi.”
The latter groaned. “More paperwork?”
“Don’t complain,” Adella snapped and she addressed me directly. “You did an exceptionally job, Segyx. That was quality work, especially for a first mission! I’m looking forward to working with you.”
“And what am I, the invisible Meepit?” commented Levi under her breath. As usual, I noticed, Adella ignored her.
“You’re both free to go,” she said happily. “I’ll see both of you tomorrow. And Levi –“
“Paperwork, I know,” grumbled Levi and we stood up and walked out into the main room.
The desks were mostly empty, as most Neopets had begun leaving for home. I wanted to leave as well, ready to plop on my bed the moment I got home but a few things were plaguing my mind.
“Hey Levi,” I said as she packed up her Pack as she prepared to leave.
“What was Adella talking about this morning when she said don’t cause trouble like the last time?”
“Oh, that,” said Levi, suddenly grinning evilly. “You really want to know?”
“Well, I was chasing a thief in Meridell on my last mission and decided to knock a few barrels of cheese over on the Cheeseroller hill to stop him... but honestly, I’m sure Merifoods is insured against damage by cheese, I don’t see why Adella was so upset by it....”
“Right,” I said, even though everything from her statement clearly wasn’t. “One last thing – why did you join Undercover Defenders? I mean, you fight with pranks. Why did you join?”
Levi looked at me for a moment, apparently thinking hard, “Because it’s fun. Why else?” With this, she slung her Pack over her back and walked out of the room, quite smug from the surprised look on my face.
I really don’t understand her. At all. But I had to learn. Fighting bad guys is one thing, but understanding my partner Levialy Descot was a whole other task I now had to face.
But in the end, I just really, really love my job.